VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Uber and Lyft have sped onto the scene in Metro Vancouver while the first ride-hailing company approved in B.C. is still revving up for it’s official launch.
Whistle was approved to operate in December but hasn’t yet hit the road. It will launch in Tofino on Feb. 5 and Whistler on Feb. 10.
Founder Dylan Green says the company has a different focus that the global ride-hailing giants. It’s a B.C.-based operation, targeting the smaller and resort-rich markets of Tofino and Whistler.
“Uber and Lyft are focused on Metro Vancouver and so our focus is really our smaller communities, communities outside of Vancouver and so we’re quite happy that Uber and Lyft seem to be sticking to Vancouver,” he says. “We’re sharing local rides, we’re opening up local cars. We’ll see how far that goes.”
The fleet is starting out small, with five drivers in Tofino and 10 in Whistler and most will be offering rides between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.
“We’re really aiming to be there when the demand is there. We are onboarding drivers all the time, locals who have a car and want to use their own vehicle, we’re helping them get their Class 4,” Green says. “My goal is to make it easy for our drivers. I think we have to really remember that we’re talking about getting local residents to use their own cars for a fare, so we have to make it easy.”
The app is available for download now.
“We’re here and we’re local.” he says. “Give us a try. Give us a whistle.”